Rescuers Sift Rubble of Shattered Town Abandoned by Russians


BORODIANKA, Ukraine (AP) – Firefighters continued searching Saturday for survivors or the dead in the debris of destroyed buildings in a northern Ukrainian town that was occupied for weeks by Russian forces.

Residents of Borodianka expect to find dozens of victims under the rubble of the several buildings destroyed during fighting between Russian forces and Ukrainian troops. The town is about 75 kilometres (47 miles) northwest of the capital of Kyiv and had more than 12,000 residents.

BORODIANKA, UKRAINE – APRIL 09: Rescue workers carry the body of a man who was found among the rubble of a destroyed apartment building, on April 9th, 2022 in Borodianka, Ukraine. The Russian retreat from towns near Kyiv has revealed scores of civilian deaths and the full extent of devastation from Russia’s attempt to seize the Ukrainian capital. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

Russian troops occupied Borodianka while advancing towards Kyiv in an attempt to encircle it. They retreated during the last days of March following fierce fighting. The town is without electricity, natural gas or other services.

 A destroyed apartment building is seen on April 9, 2022 in Borodianka, Ukraine. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

A 77-year-old resident, Maria Vaselenko, said her daughter and son-in-law´s bodies have been under rubble for 36 days because Russian soldiers would not allow residents to search for loved ones or their bodies. She said her two teenage grandchildren escaped to Poland but are now orphans.

A handmade picture of the Virgin Mary is seen among the rubble of a destroyed apartment building on April 9, 2022 in Borodianka, Ukraine. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

“The Russians were shooting. And some people wanted to come and help, but they were shooting them,” she told The Associated Press. “They were putting explosives under dead people.”

A man clears the rubble in front of his house on April 9, 2022 in Borodianka, Ukraine. (Photo by Alexey Furman/Getty Images)

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